The Marquee Theatre was packed from wall to wall Friday night when the pale emperor Marilyn Manson paid a visit to the Valley in front of a sold-out crowd. Half of the fun of attending a Manson show is that you just never know what you're gonna get out of rock 'n' roll's favorite villain. The show had the potential to be one of the best shows you may see all year or may leave you scratching your head wondering why you just blew $75 bucks on a train wreck of a performance. Luckily, on Friday, Manson mostly was on point during the 16-song set, but there was some drama to make the show interesting.
As the lights dimmed, Manson did a quick lap around the stage only to have the onstage power breaker blow before the show even started. He eventually returned to the stage and said, "Insane old Phoenix, baby" from the song "Birds of Hell Awaiting," which they never played; Manson just wanted to say the word "Phoenix" as many times as he could and reference the song.
Once the power was restored, the band was able to take the stage and blast into opener "Deep Six." A flustered Manson got lost in the song during the second verse and missed his cue. If you've ever attended one of his shows, you'd know that missing a cue is standard protocol. "I love you, Phoenix" Manson said as they bounced right back and returned to proper form during "Disposable Teens" and "mOBSCENE."
The two-guitar attack of Tyler Bates and Paul Wiley, along with Twiggy Ramirez returning to the bass, proved to be beneficial sonically for the band sonically, which probably has never sounded better. Ramirez's bass tone filled the theater during the death stomp of "Killing Strangers." The Eurythmics cover "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" followed and easily could have been replaced for something deeper in his catalog.
After the sludgy "Third Day of a Seven Day Binge," Manson played a few bars of "Birds of Hell Awaiting" for the second time before starting a cover of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus." At one point in the show, Manson smashed a glass bottle on a cymbal and shards of glass covered the stage and hit drummer Gil Sharone in the face. Sharone was able to recover from his injury and finished the set like a pro.
Several audience members also reported seeing Manson puke during the show.
Despite a few hiccups, the show was better than the last few visits Manson has made to the Valley. The Pale Emperor has given him new life, and you can only hope he can keep it together and end the trend of rotating band members.
Friday Night: Marilyn Manson at Marquee Theatre.
Personal Bias: I've been covering Manson for years now and have seen more than 20 shows dating back to 1994.
The Crowd: Enough people in black to make you think we were at a funeral.
Random Notebook Dump: Manson should play material from Portrait of an American Family at his shows.
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